Kimi Raikkonen remains positive he has the pace and the car to win today's Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul, despite starting off the front row of the grid after a crucial mistake in qualifying.

With just over two tenths blanketing the first four cars, any tiny error was always going to be costly, and arguably it was the Finn who lost out the most on a day when Ferrari seemed to have the legs on arch-rivals McLaren.

"For sure I would rather be in first place and it is easier starting there," he acknowledged, "but the first two qualifying runs were ok and the car was good. I made small mistakes in second qualifying, then I had maybe not as good a car as I had been expecting in the last run.

"When you put more fuel in the car it is always going to be different. You are always guessing a bit how it is going to be, and although it was still good I could not quite put a lap together as well as I was hoping.

"I had a bit of oversteer, and a small mistake in the last two corners was then enough to put me third. The slow corners here are very important and it's very tricky to get them right; they seem to be very slippery. I think you can win as much as you can lose if you get it right, but the fact is you can lose more time in the slow corners because you spend more time in them. You can easily destroy the lap there and that's what happened.

"I knew I had lost time because I was a bit off-line - I don't know how much I lost but for sure it would have been a lot closer. It happens sometimes when you push to gain time and you overdo it. It is all part of the game. I'm not too disappointed, and we will just have to see what happens."

Indeed, Raikkonen argued he was happier to be starting third and on the clean side of the grid, as opposed to on the front row but on the dirtier outside line. Despite sitting some 20 points adrift of world championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings, when asked about the championship fight he insisted nothing would be over until it's over.

"I think for long runs in the race the car should be very good," the 27-year-old asserted, "so we should be able to fight. It's going to be a long race and we are still in a good position. Hopefully we can fight back.

"After that we will do our best and hopefully win races; you never know what is going to happen. We will keep pushing for as long as we still have a chance."